I’ve been gone for a while, sorry. I think I felt like I was drowning myself in being bipolar and hindering my recovery.
I started school about a month ago and it’s going well…I’m looking forward to building a career, envisioning my life as a functional, contributing person in society.
I got my meds changed about a week ago, and I’m now taking 100 mg of Tegretol 2x a day, and 30 mg of Restoril at bedtime. I have my mind back, and it’s overwhelming sometimes when I realize how heavily the Lithium had affected my thinking. It was like brick wall had been built in my head, not allowing any thoughts to come in or to go out. It was a great mood stabilizer – and that’s why I put up with it for so long. I figured, hey, I’m not manic, I’m not severely depressed, so this MUST be the “normal” me. I thought it was just the life I was destined to live as a medicated bipolar person.
But the fact that I was an idiot half of the time started to chip away at my self esteem, and I did some high level critical thinking for me (being as thinking AT ALL was difficult) and decided that I was NOT an idiot before the Lithium (and not just because I was manic), and therefore, the Lithium was MAKING ME an idiot.
I realized that before I was bipolar, I was an incredible person, and that I still am that incredible person. There are just some things that need adjusting so I can get back to showing everyone that I am incredible.
If I have to choose between being an idiot on meds or being off meds, and thus a little unstable, I am going to choose being slightly unstable.
So here’s hoping that the Tegretol works. I’ll exhaust every reasonable medical intervention before I go sans-meds, but in the end I want to be the best person I can be for my children. I feel like being “alive” mentally is more beneficial than having an empty shell of a body because of all the meds.
I would rather them think in 15 years:
“Eh, Mom was a little crazy sometimes, high energy, telling jokes, always happy, and sometimes she seemed really sad and slept a lot, but she always made us feel loved”
“Mom wasn’t really ever ‘there’…she never seemed able to make choices very easily, couldn’t help me with my homework, never seemed really interested in my life, and was never really active with us”.
I think we’d all choose that first option. And I can understand now why people choose to come off their meds. It’s a really fine line.
But let’s be optimistic and believe that we will all one day find that perfect cocktail that will allow us to be mentally/physically/emotionally active and we won’t have to worry about all those nasty side effects of the meds or from being off the meds.